IWS-GTA Mentorship Program
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Being immigrants and women in STEM could pose many personal and professional challenges, such as experiencing the feeling of isolation and burnout, lacking professional resources and networks, and dealing with cultural and language barriers. In order to help new immigrants or women in STEM beginning their careers in Canada who seek guidance and advice from experienced mentors with similar experience and backgrounds, the Immigrant and International Women in Sciences (IWS) – GTA Toronto Chapter launched its mentorship program for the first time in July 2022.
What is the IWS-GTA Mentorship Program?
The IWS-GTA Mentorship Program is a 2-month free-registration program where the mentoring sessions ran from August 2nd, 2022, to September 28th, 2022. Prior to the mentoring sessions, we advertised our mentorship program and called for mentor/mentee registrations on various social media platforms, and we brought together 20 pairs of mentors/mentees. To help build successful mentor-mentee relationships, our mentorship program fostered mentee-driven mentoring relationships, where the mentees outlined goals and expectations for themselves. The mentoring relationships took place either in-person or virtual, upon mutual agreement between the mentors and the mentees. It was also up to the mentors and the mentees to decide the number of interactions.
Why the IWS-GTA Mentorship Program?
The goal of the IWS-GTA Mentorship Program is to help our participants to grow and share valuable experiences to navigate through the personal and professional challenges of starting a new life or new career in Canada. We aim to provide our participants with a unique opportunity to gain valuable skills, feedback and networks that are essential for professional development. Moreover, through mentorship and guidance from people with similar experiences and backgrounds, we aim to provide help for combating feelings of isolation and discrimination, burnout, stagnation, and many other hardships that are often faced by new immigrants and women in STEM in Canada. As our first IWS-GTA Mentorship Program is approaching the end, we would like to extend our greatest gratitude to all our mentors and mentees for participating in our program and engaging with our immigrants and women in the science community! We would also like to thank all our volunteers for the successful launch of our program and the help and support throughout the program! We look forward to having you onboard with us again to build a collaborative network that promotes active communication and support among immigrants and international women from STEM in Canada.
Organizing team: Maria Zavala, Neeraja Sasidharan, Nathalia Batista
Volunteers: Mara Rossi, Marina Tavares, Milena Londono, Reham Haleem, Riani Soares, Tianning Yu